- The Washington Times - Saturday, June 23, 2001

Noble: House Majority Whip Tom DeLay and the rest of the Republicans insisting on the equitable enforcement of the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

While many communities in Western states, particularly those around Oregon´s Klamath Basin in which the endangered suckerfish resides, have been suffering under the Environmental Protection Agency´s (EPA) predacious protection of species falling under the aegis of the ESA, many communities on the Eastern seaboard, particularly those inside the Beltway in which the elite Georgetown liberal resides, have enjoyed a far more symbiotic relationship with the EPA, and as such, have been able to evade, or at least ignore, the ESA´s most pernicious provisions.

Specifically, the Dalecarlia and the Georgetown Reservoirs, both in Northwest Washington, are discharging massive amounts of what one EPA Water Protection Division official called, "the most toxic discharge I have ever seen," into the Potomac River, home of the endangered short-nosed sturgeon. The problem might have been fixed long ago, except for the political pressure of a group of Georgetown residents who lobbied against a "strict interpretation" of the environmental policy, because they feared higher water rates and noise and dust from dumptrucks rolling through residential neighborhoods.

Many Republicans are rightly outraged. Mr. DeLay accused the EPA of speaking "out of both sides of the mouth." California Republican Rep. Wally Herger claimed the situation is a "striking example of the hypocrisy and power politics of the extreme environmental movement and its influence on eastern politicians," and his colleague, Rep. George Radanovich, simply suggested, "We want to see the Endangered Species Act enforced right here in Washington, where the law was passed."

The brown-nosing liberals might argue, but the short-nosed sturgeon couldn´t agree more.

Knave: Andrew Burnett, for taking it into his hands to forcibly enforce his personal version of the ESA.

While there may be many reasons to disagree with the protection and/or preservation of yap-yap dogs like the bichon-frise, there is no reason to throw one onto a crowded freeway.

Burnett thought, and acted, otherwise. After a minor traffic accident with the owner of a fluffy white bichon-frise named Leo, Burnett reached through her open window, grabbed Leo, and threw him onto a California freeway, where he was fatally struck a few seconds later.

Perhaps Burnett was in a hurry to get out of the state. After all, at around the time of the incident, he had been jailed for stealing thousands of dollars from his employer and for lying in an attempt to get out of a speeding ticket.

However, it´s unlikely that Burnett will be leaving the state any time soon. He was convicted of felonious animal cruelty and sentenced this week to up to three years behind bars.

And no the EPA will not be employing Burnett as an ESA enforcement officer.

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